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Ready to Watch

“A biennial dies every 30 seconds in the world,” curator Philippe Vergne is fond of saying. Still, the Whitney’s version never goes quietly, and like a supernova, it scatters light and energy into the atmosphere. We’ve identified ten artists who, we think, are likely to be around when the dust settles. In the spirit of this globalized Biennial, five hail from the West Coast, three from Europe, and one from West End Avenue. Get a glimpse of them now, while New York’s still the center of the universe.


Artist photos by Todd Selby  

AARON YOUNG, mixed media
A graduate of Yale’s M.F.A. program, famous for turning out art jocks like Richard Serra, Aaron Young, 34, knows how to aestheticize macho aggression. A growling pit bull clamps onto a rope in his video Good Boy, and Young once filled a gallery with a revving motorbike’s tire prints and exhaust. “My work is an attack,” says the San Francisco native (and current New Yorker), who claims special inspiration from fellow West Coast artist Chris Burden (though Young has yet to shoot himself in front of gallerygoers). “He’s referring to approaches that were common in the sixties and seventies,” says MoMA and P.S. 1 curator Klaus Biesenbach, “but he is making them cutting-edge.” For his first solo show, Young hired a helicopter to train searchlights on the opening; look for more intimidating art in the Biennial, including a bronze sculpture of a boulder spray-painted locals only!

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